Groundwork has supported through lottery funding the development of 4 men in sheds across East Riding. Since lockdown many of the members are cut off, isolated, lonely and missing the camaraderie of the shed. Through discussion with the management committees of all 4 sheds we have been asked to broker a connect project to enable each shed to receive a number of devices, pre loaded, which can be loaned to members who do not have any IT/social media access.
Groundwork has been established since 1999 in Yorkshire and has supported many vulnerable communities. We also help new and emerging community organisations to become sustainable, as we are doing with men in sheds. We also run programmes to support young people into education through training and accreddited learning. We deliver a gardening service to older, vulnerable people across the Selby District. We are currently running the South Leeds Hub for Leeds City Council.
The project is important at this time as many members of the shed are struggling with isolation and loneliness. Many came ot the shed because of major changes in their lives, ie, bereavement, changes in circumstances, health, caring responsibilities and for many their attendance at the shed has been a life line. Without it many are finding lock down difficulty, particularly as many are in the shielded category. It will engage members identified by the shed management committee who they know are struggling. Members will be provided with a loan tablet which will be pre loaded with shed information, zoom details so they can join on line discussions/workshops, links to other appropriate services and support. The project officer will provide telephone support.
This project will ensure that members who are not connected to the shed, or their friends/family other than by telephone are. They will feel included, be able to take part and be pro active in their on going projects at home, if appropriate, and able to share them remotely.
Success will be evaluated by a 'end of lockdown' questionnaire, to ascertain what difference the tablet has made. Equally on going contact with members of the shed will be proof. The tablets will remain with the sheds to use for members, committee members thereafter.
Reg Number: 06455490 | Charity Number: 1125856